Is Everyone Hanging Out: Pages 1 Through 79

Hi, Bookies:

There’s nothing funny about being “bad with names.” There’s also nothing funny about Mr. Cougar Mellencamp thinking the thrill of living was high school. That being said, there is a whole lot to laugh about in the beginning of this delightful book!

I’ll be honest: I am loving every word of Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? Let’s just dive right in, shall we?

I’d like to begin this post by sharing my top-five countdown of laugh-out-loud moments:
#5: “I may have read the entire Laura Ingalls Wilder canon simply to get out of raking the lawn with my brother.”
#4: “I just biked around in circles talking to myself like a kid on the cover of a Robert Cormier young adult novel, circling around puzzled Jewish families.”
#3: “Why am I being made to do this? I never see Mom and Dad climbing ropes! You can’t tell me this is useful!”
#2: “Is that the camp’s rules or the pond’s rules?”
#1: “So I left college feeling like a successful, awesome, tall person. Then, in July of 2001, the three of us moved to New York.”

In addition to cackling and reading at least 15 lines out loud to my boyfriend that I thought were hilarious…I also found there to be many touching moments in the pages we read this week. For instance, don’t we all have a Mavis (the friend who got away)? I sure do; her name’s Kelly. I hope we are all reunited with our “Mavis” someday. I loved that Mindy celebrates the joy of spending time with her family. It’s lovely to read about someone who has grown up admiring her parents, continues to do so, and thoroughly enjoys their company. Finally, I was truly touched that Mindy and I share a profound common belief: that J.C. Chasez would (obviously) be the best member of *NSYNC to marry if ever we had to choose. I couldn’t agree more. Justin Timberlake is the coolest and the hottest, but J.C. must be more faithful. He is the clear front-runner for any logical woman debating this matter.

I have also found Mindy’s words to be extremely thought-provoking. For instance, I’m pretty sure I’m an old-school hoarder, according to her definiton: “Joce is a hoarder of the cheerful, social, Christmas-lights-year-round variety.” Also, I started to wonder what my alias “for hotels and stuff” would be. If Mindy’s would be Gwendolyn Trundlebed, I’m pretty sure mine would be something like Isabella Bedazzle.

Now, Bookies, I have a few fun questions for you:
• What was your favorite laugh-out-loud moment so far?
• What would your alias be?
• Which member of *NSYNC would you want to marry?

I look forward to discussing chapters “Best Friend Rights and Responsibilities” to “Hooking Up Is Confusing” (pages 80 to 158) next Friday, the 13th!

Until then, I would like to conclude this post by extending an informal invitation to the author. Now that I know Mindy wants to be friends with Beyonce, I am certain the three of us (along with my best friend Caitlin) should totally form a group called MJBC. Mindy…interested? Just a thought.